This one might sting for New York Knicks fans a little bit.
On Saturday, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving confirmed that he strongly considered signing with the Knicks as a free agent next summer before committing to stay with the Celtics.
“Every team was under consideration but obviously New York held a special place for me,” Irving said, via the New York Daily News. “Just being from Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent and ultimately taking a meeting and playing for (Knicks coach David Fizdale) and a great young core that they have here.
“Thinking about playing with (Kristaps Porzingis). That was a big thing before I made my decision just to plan on re-signing back with Boston. But yeah, of course, New York was a strong consideration.”
You can see Irving’s comments below, via Celtics on NBC Sports Boston:
Irving decided to end the swirling speculation and announce his intention to re-sign with the Celtics months ahead of his actual free agency.
“I’ve shared it with some of my teammates as well as the organization as well as everyone else in Boston,” Irving said at an event for season-ticket holders at TD Garden earlier this month, via the Celtics. “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here next year.”
The announcement came as a surprise to many that expected Irving to generate a ton of interest on the free agent market next summer – and even more rumors and speculation leading up to next July.
“Timing is everything with this,” Irving said, via Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “I’m glad I could share it with the Boston fans and the people there. It was a great reception. I was just happy to get it done with. I just have every intention of singing back [with the Celtics], just wanted to clear it up… I have every intention to sign back with Boston.”
Ultimately, Irving said his decision to stay in Boston was about being happy.
“The important thing was just being happy,” Irving said. “Having an environment where I’m challenged… and I can get better as a basketball player and as a man and grow here.”
Irving is clearly content in Boston. As for a Knicks franchise that hasn’t quite been a popular destination for marquee free agents, being considered by a player of Irving’s stature could be considered a step in the right direction.
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